Common Names: Sanderling
Sub-category: Sandpipers & Allies
The Sanderling is a small plump sandpiper, 18-20 cm in length. Its weight ranges from 40-100 g. The winter bird is very pale, almost white apart from a dark shoulder patch. This is the source of the specific name, alba, which is the Latin for 'white'. Later in the summer, the face and throat become brick-red. The juvenile bird is spangled black and white, and shows much more contrast than the adult. Sanderling behavior is distinctive, but visually, if the size is misjudged, a breeding plumage sanderling can be mistaken for some varieties of stint, or a winter plumage sanderling can be mistaken for a Dunlin or Red Knot. It can be told from other small wading birds, given good views, by its lack of a hind toe.
In Connecticut it is found along beaches and shorelines.